Proton Therapy for Thyroid Cancer

Fight Thyroid Cancer with Laser-like Precision

California Protons’ intensity-modulated pencil beam scanning technology is a highly precise form of thyroid cancer radiation treatment that enables our doctors to selectively target thyroid tumors with high-dose radiation within this sensitive and intricate area.

Compared with older passive-scattering proton therapy treatment for thyroid cancer, our pencil beam scanning technology precisely delivers radiation treatment for thyroid cancer within 2 millimeters and with the utmost care. We can attack tumors layer by layer and minimize harmful exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. This is important for thyroid cancer patients as they typically require high doses of radiation. Radiation to healthy tissues around the tumor can affect your ability to speak, eat, taste and swallow, and can also alter your appearance either temporarily or permanently. The reduction of radiation-related toxicity also increases the likelihood that patients can complete treatment with fewer interruptions or delays.

Thyroid Cancer
Treatment Details

What We Treat

  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Follicular thyroid cancer
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • Recurrent thyroid cancer

What We Do

  • Target the tumor only
  • Protect your esophagus, voice box, lungs and spinal cord
  • Maintain your quality of life during thyroid cancer treatment
  • Reduce side effects of treatment, including impaired ability to speak, eat, taste and swallow
  • Lower the risk of secondary cancer due to radiation

Benefits of Proton Therapy for Thyroid Cancer

  • Our pencil beam scanning technology precisely controls protons to place the Bragg peak—the point at which they deposit their maximum energy—directly in the tumor. This allows us to treat more complex tumor shapes and vary the dose within the tumor.
  • Advanced proton therapy for thyroid cancer allows doctors to more selectively deliver high-dose radiation to cancerous thyroid tumors and tissues, and reduce the dose to surrounding healthy tissues and critical organs. In some cases, this has been shown to deliver higher cure rates than X-ray radiation treatment even in some of the most challenging situations.
  • Proton beam therapy deposits the maximum energy directly in the tumor, which can reduce radiation exposure to sensitive organs and healthy tissues in and around the mouth, neck and chest.
  • Sparing healthy tissues around the thyroid tumor is extremely important as damage to this area can have significant side effects, such as a temporary or permanent impairment of your ability to speak, eat, taste and swallow.
  • Unlike with older technology, the proton therapy thyroid cancer treatment plan can be loaded into the computer and completed within a matter of minutes. Treatments are also noninvasive and convenient so patients can get back to their daily activities quicker.

Is Proton Therapy for Thyroid
Cancer Right for You?


Depending on the stage of thyroid cancer, combined treatments of surgery, radioactive iodine therapy, chemotherapy and radiation may be needed for some thyroid tumors. Thyroid cancer treatment options are also affected by the type of thyroid cancer, age, overall health and personal preferences.

Treatment for Recurrent
Thyroid Cancer

Proton therapy is often the best way to treat recurrent tumors in areas that have previously been treated with radiation therapy.

Treating previously irradiated areas can be challenging. The healthy tissues around the recurrent tumor do not fully “forget” the previous radiation dose, and any added dose continues to increase the risk of normal tissue injury. Proton beam therapy may enable doctors to better concentrate the dose to the target and limit it elsewhere, allowing re-treatment with radiation in select patients.

Proton Therapy for Thyriod Cancer Treatment Outcomes & Long-Term Effects

Proton therapy treatment at California Protons Cancer Therapy Center in San Diego may offer similar outcomes to standard X-ray radiation, while reducing long-term and potentially life-threatening side effects such as the impaired ability to speak, eat, taste and swallow due to radiation damage to the head, neck and throat. It may also lower chances for secondary cancers later in life due to reduced radiation exposure to your surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

However, all cancer treatments have advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to discuss all of the potential risks, as well as treatment options, with your oncologist.

About Proton Therapy

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